Inaugural High Stakes League Update 4

Updated: October 27th 2021

It’s interesting how a superstition can grab a hold of even the most analytical and scientific people sometimes.  That’s me.  Analytical and science-minded.  I know the superstitions I’m going to tell you about have no factual basis for believing in them, yet, I can’t escape the just-in-case scenario in my mind.  I had a little superstition building and grabbing a hold of me for the past two years or so in fantasy football.  It brought me a Championship in one league last year and I made it to the Super Bowl in another so there has to be something to it, right?  Super Bowl appearances in two of four leagues is a little compelling, no?

You see, I started noticing that the less I sat in front of my home PC and watched the live scoring for my fantasy teams and my opponents the better my fantasy football teams seemed to do.  In retrospect, using logical reasoning, I know that I’ve always done pretty well in my leagues.  Making the playoffs at around a 65%-70% clip which means I’m likely winning more than losing.  So, unless my superstition brings me up to a 100% win rate (or at least 90%), I should’ve probably simmered down a lot sooner.  But, winning Championships does funny things to people.

There’s nothing like your worst start ever in fantasy football to give you some perspective though.  Frankly, I was really proud of myself this year about how much I was getting away from my computer and accomplishing some things on Sundays.  If not watching the live scoring was supposed to be beneficial, then, something was not right.  Not right at all.  Going into last week I was 2-4 in the league in which I went to the Super Bowl and lost.  I was 2-4 in the league in which I won the Super Bowl last year.  I was 1-5 in another league of mine – my most expensive that I commission.  There was an orphan team I acquired in early August that was new for me and I mostly joined to help out but it’s turned out fun and I was actually 3-3 while floating along in easily the most winnable division going into last week.  My one bright spot.  And finally, the disaster that is this league here that I write about.  The High Stakes League.  In which I was 1-5 also going into this past week.  Another rough start.  A combined 9-21.  Easily my worst start ever.  How?  I mean, I was doing a bang up job of pleasing the fantasy gods this season with my absence in front of my PC.  So, how was this happening?

Being a man of science it was time to do some testing.  If I was going to be 9-21 at least I would enjoy some football with my live scoring on damnit.  This Sunday was a great test date.  A murky, rainy day outside.  My Chicago Bears playing the defending Super Bowl champion Tamp Bay Buccaneers, whom they somehow walloped last season, so obviously great things must be in store.  And, with my teams in such horrible shape, I had a bunch of must-win games to watch if these teams of mine were going to stay in the playoff hunt and avoid selloff before the trade deadline.

I’m happy to report that this weekend provided me the most inconclusive data possible.  I watched so much football and I had my live scoring up the entire time.  Thursday?  Yep.  Sunday all day?  Damn skippy.  Monday too?  You’re darn tootin’.  If my superstition was correct, I should’ve had a horrible fantasy football weekend.  I didn’t.  It wasn’t great.  But, it wasn’t horrible.  Very middle of the road and leaning negative.  Very….. . inconclusive.  It’s almost like it had no effect at all.  2 wins.  3 losses.  Eerily similar to my normal weekly outcome this season.  I think it’s officially time to give up on this superstition.  Maybe these things only last for a season?

Admittedly, I do have another fantasy football superstition where I always named my teams after one of my fantasy players on my roster.  But, I’ve been testing that one too.  When I joined this High Stakes League it seemed like owners had more legacy style names and I figured I’d name mine after one of my all time favorite players instead so it could remain unchanged when a player (that I had named my team after) no longer plays for my team.  But, here I am with inconclusive evidence on whether these superstitions are worth continuing.  The Fresh Prince of Helaire is 1-6 the same as These Truths to be Self Richard Dent is 1-6.  Frankly, with only Dancing on the Thielen above .500 there’s not much to sway a person one way or the other.  Maybe you all can help me.  Is there something I’m not doing right?  Do I need to make a sacrifice to the fantasy football gods?  I’d love some feedback from everyone on any additional rituals you perform.  Otherwise, I’m about to give up on this superstition thing despite many years of fun with it and a few Championships.

Here in the High Stakes League we have a few teams that are starting to pull away from the pack.  While six will make the playoffs and we have another half a season to play, these four teams are starting to look like a pretty good lock to make the playoffs.  We have a new #1 in “The Don” Piccolo who now sits at 6-1.  Even if it’s not the most convincing 6-1 you’ve ever seen.  “The Don” is fifth out of twelve teams in total points right now and not far off from sixth.  Our league takes the top four teams by record and the final two by total points.  So, total points do matter.  But in “The Don’s” case, enough wins can make it so it doesn’t matter.  Team owner, Ryan Bennett, specializes in IDP as he does IDP rankings for multiple sites including contributing to RSO.  He also competes in about 40 leagues these days.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter and don’t be afraid to throw him your weekly start/sit questions @piccoloFFIDP.  I reached out to him, being the current top seed, to see if he had any superstitions when it comes to fantasy football and you would not be surprised to hear that he said managing 40 fantasy teams requires a no nonsense professional approach.  And added, “Can’t afford superstitions when luck is already such a big factor.”

Y-Town was undefeated two weeks ago but has since suffered two losses, dropping them into second place in the standings.  The first loss was deserved after a miserable showing where they barely cleared 100 points.  The second one this past weekend came at the hands of a rising star who had high score of the week.  This squad needs to put an end to the skid as soon as possible but they are second in total points right now and 3rd isn’t really close behind.  There’s some breathing room there but best not take up too much before you get serious again.  That’s probably why, before this article was even mostly typed, Y-Town was making moves.  A big trade went down between Y-Town and currently 11th seed NJ Generals.  Tom Brady, Mike Evans, and Cole Beasley all go to a contender in Y-Town with about two weeks to go before the trade deadline.  In return Y-Town gives up a 2nd round pick along with Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, DJ Moore, and Jamaal Williams.  I like the aggressive move to stop the bleeding.  Let’s see if it turns into wins.

Then we have two teams at 4-3 that are worth a quick mention.  XFL Stars and owner Brayden Paget, who lead the league in total points.  Clearly, those wins will come with enough points but they have all their bases covered.

The Surdilla boys, owner of Big Tings, are 4-3 but put up high points (190) this past week while beating Y-Town and are 3rd in total points on the season.

Right now, these four teams look most likely to be playoff bound.  The final two spots are a little more murky.

If there’s a good ritual that you’ve found that works to get fantasy football wins, please share them with me where you see my posts on social media.  Or any superstition in general.  I want to hear them all.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

See you next time.

RSO High Stakes League Storyteller

More Analysis by Matt Russell

Week 8 Street FA Report

Updated: October 26th 2021

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Randall Cobb, WR – GB (Owned 42.5%)

Week 7: 3 Rec/22 yards

If ever there was going to be a week where you would feel comfortable starting Randall Cobb in 2021, Thursday night is probably the only week. With COVID Protocols dropping Allen Lazard and likely Davante Adams out for the Packers’ big matchup against the undefeated Cardinals, it will be guys like Cobb, rookie Amari Rodgers, and our sleeper choice to pick up the slack. The game could get into a shootout scenario which bodes well for Aaron Rodgers throwing multiple touchdowns in this game as well. The safest floor would likely be Cobb with his expected receptions in PPR leagues. Available in half of RSO leagues, Cobb is at least a flex start option with WR2 upside for week 8.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

RB Add

Boston Scott, RB – PHI (Owned 27.5%)

Week 7: 7 Car/24 yards, 1 TD, 1 Rec/5 yards

Miles Sanders has been very inefficient this season despite holding a two-thirds (67%) hog rate for Philadelphia running backs. He is now likely to miss at least a couple of games for rookie Kenneth Gainwell to lead the backfield in week 7 backed up by veteran Boston Scott. Jordan Howard is expected to be elevated from the practice squad to fill the extra space but do not expect much from a player they have not relied on for any snaps this season. The Eagles have a plus matchup against the winless Lions in week 8 so expect plenty of scoring opportunities for both Gainwell and Scott.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Add

Freddie Swain, WR – SEA (Owned 16%)
Week 7: 1 Car/8 yards, 4 Rec/39 yards

The recent struggles without Russell Wilson have masked the fact that the Seahawks have been in 3WR sets 62 percent of the time through seven (7) weeks and Freddy Swain has been the primary benefactor because of it. Swain has played on over 75 percent of the snaps in four (4) of the past six (6) games with no threat of another receiver coming in to take that WR3 role from him. Geno Smith’s lack of explosive plays compared to Russell Wilson, coupled with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett commanding most of the targets will suppress the week-to-week value of Swain. However, his opportunity share would skyrocket if either of those two ahead of him were to miss time with injury. He would be a stash now for when Russell Wilson comes back and adds more to the Seahawks’ offense.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Mo Alie-Cox, TE – IND (Owned 41.5%)

Week 7: 3 Rec/25 yards, 1 TD

Outside of the elite tight end options, red-zone targets and touchdowns are really what elevates a tight end’s playability week to week. Mo Alie-Cox is on a bit of a streak, with touchdowns in three (3) of his last (4) games showing he has an ear for Carson Wentz near the goal line. Not surprising as the 6’5” former basketball player towers over most corners and linebackers trying to box him out of the endzone. In plus matchups where the Colts are expected to be in the red-zone a lot, Alie-Cox is a valid streaming option behind the obvious starting tight ends.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<25%)

Equanimeous St. Brown, WR – GB (Owned 3.5%)

Week 7: 1 Car/13 yards

Randall Cobb’s familiarity with Aaron Rodgers gives him a much easier floor to stomach starting him if desperate for a wide receiver this week. Other players like Aaron Jones or Robert Tonyan are also likely to see upticks in their touches due to the nature of how the Packers’ offense is structured. Still, Rodgers likes to take his deep shots when he can and that has led to instances of Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling having opportunities to catch long touchdowns throughout their time in Green Bay. MVS is not likely to play Thursday leaving St. Brown to be the lone deep threat for Rodgers in a key NFC matchup. Start St. Brown at your own risk of scoring a zero but he could also be due for his annual long touchdown game with a condensed receiver room available this week.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Week 7 Street FA Report

Updated: October 19th 2021

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Demetric Felton/D’Ernest Johnson (Owned 38%/8%)

Both backup Cleveland running backs are likely to be utilized heavily on Thursday night as both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will miss at least this week’s game against the Broncos. Hunt has already been put on the IR as well which means even as Chubb works his way back into the lineup, Demetric Felton and D’Ernest Johnson will continue to see several opportunities in relief. If you are in PPR leagues I would lean more towards Felton, who acts primarily in James White-style of pass-catching back. In standard leagues, Johnson is the more prototypical running back that should see the goal-line and early-down carries. In a big week for byes, both players are likely to be scooped up with big bids this week.

Suggested Bid: $3,500,000

RB Add

Jaret Patterson, RB – WAS (Owned 40%)

Week 6: 1 Car/5 yards, 1 Rec/-2 yards

Each week that Antonio Gibson plays through his injury Jaret Patterson’s ownership should be steadily increasing. At times in week 6, Gibson needed to be subbed out for his lower-body injury and eventually was taken out of the game for good late in the 4th quarter. We will know more about his injury and availability later in the week but expect Patterson to see more touches in upcoming games if anything serious is diagnosed. A strong pre-season allowed the rookie to earn a spot on the roster and like Khalil Herbert for the Bears, could be one moment away from his opportunity to start.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

WR Adds

Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR – CLE (Owned 42%)

Week 6: 4 Rec/101 yards, 2 TD

It is not just the backfield that is hurting in Cleveland as Odell Beckham Jr. was also missing snaps last week nursing his injury. Meanwhile, Donovan Peoples-Jones had a monster game, catching a halftime Hail Mary attempt and scoring another touchdown in the second half. Again on a short week, there is a change that OBJ is not able to play this week opening up plenty of targets for both Peoples-Jones and potentially Rashard Higgins. Watch for Baker Mayfield’s status though. If he is out as well Case Keenum is sure to leave the Browns’ coach staff playing more conservatively with their passing game.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

Mack Hollins, WR – MIA (Owned <1%)

Week 6: 4 Rec/61 yards

The Dolphins are avoiding the post-International Game bye week and heading straight back to the US for a game in week 7. They were without DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Will Fuller which allowed for former Eagle Mack Hollins to play on 97 percent of the Dolphins’ snaps. With the aforementioned bye-pocalypse upon us, there may be an incentive for some of us to start less than stellar options heading into this week. If opportunity is the foreshadowing to success then at least Hollins has a shot at being the WR2 again this week. A game against the Falcons is also a plus matchup in terms of potential scoring chances.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Add

Tyler Conklin, TE – MIN (Owned 44%)

Week 6: 3 Rec/71 yards

Tyler Conklin has quietly been one of the more heavily utilized tight ends in the NFL in terms of team snaps this season. The veteran played the fifth-highest percentage of snaps in week 6 (85%) and eighth-most (78%) for the season. While a lot of Conklin’s usage can be found in Minnesota’s running game, his dominance over the rest of the position for his team is evident. No other tight end is averaging over 17% on the Vikings so it is clear who is going to be out there when they take the field. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are of course going to limit his upside as those two account for nearly 60 percent of the target shares. Still, Conklin stands as the PPR TE14 currently and will continue to see his opportunities as the season rolls along.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<25%)

Jamal Agnew, WR – JAX (Owned 5%)

Week 6: 5 Rec/78 yards

Jamal Agnew is on a bye after playing in London last week which is why he is more of a sleeper add than Mack Hollins who can be used right away in week 7. The Jacksonville kick returner has been used more than most would expect over the last two weeks since D.J. Chark was lost for the season. This has led to 11 receptions for 119 yards. A gadget option for a college coach, Agnew might not be the option most fantasy players want Urban Meyer to be using but reality is often not what we want it to be. I still would want to see what the Jaguars do after their bye week for offensive gameplans but another big PPR game from Agnew should put him on the radar for deeper leagues.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

Inaugural High Stakes League update 3

Updated: October 18th 2021

Welcome back.  We’re still getting these updates up to current but, if you missed last week’s, you can view it here.

Once again I want to congratulate Dave, owner of Philadelphia Freeways, for being our season one champion.  Their strategy and depth took them all the way to the title.  Not to mention a nice payout.  After two seasons of entry fees and only one payout so far, those Philly Freeways are the only ones in the green.  Interestingly, five weeks into season two, they have the lowest points scored in the league by far.  But, we’ll get a little more into the current season in my next update.  I want to step back and talk about this offseason we just had in 2021.  It was one for the ages.

For those of you who have already found and play on RSO you already know that they’ve finally figured out the best way to deliver the most complete ownership experience in fantasy football.  That starts in the offseason.  An offseason is something that many leagues don’t even have.  Fellow RSO players, can you even imagine gong back to not having an offseason?  We now have year around fantasy football.  Just like nature intended.  It’s a beautiful thing.  How about that salary cap reduction this year though?  For many owners and many leagues this year was a new challenge not seen before.  I’ve seen some owners in trouble, on a rare occasion, entering the rookie draft in the past.  But not very often.  Not only did many teams need to get under the cap, but many simply saw the writing on the wall.  Getting salary to use in the auction this year was on everybody’s mind and a top priority.  If you like trading, and seemingly most everyone does in fantasy football, the challenge of gaining salary to use in the auction caused some anxiety but also presented the opportunity of a lifetime to wheel and deal like you were down in the pits of the New York Stock exchange.  Buy! Sell! Hold!  The deals were coming in fast and furious.  Player values were changing and evolving versus last season.  Draft picks were being slung around like an octopus bartender acting in some new version of Tom Cruise’s Cocktail.  Oh yes, fellow owners, it was a glorious time in RSO land.  And it was only May.  Since last season was the first for this particular league, most teams had maxed out their salary caps.  That’s why so many owners needed to make moves.  But, I suspect this was happening in most RSO leagues.  In fact, I’d love to get some feedback.  Once this story posts to my Twitter account (Give me a follow, eh?) @RSOHighStakes please reply with your story of a crazy offseason trade that was made to move some salary.  I know there are some good ones out there.

I know I said we have year around football here on RSO.  It’s a true statement.  And it is glorious.  But, there is often a down time.  After the rookie draft (for many leagues this is in May) things tend to simmer down for a little while.  The league is still open.  Deals can and do happen.  But June and July are definitely the fantasy football doldrums.  Our league still saw one trade in July and then one trade August 1st.  Then the players starting falling off rosters one by one as the deadline before the auction approached.  Wow, this growing list of free agents was starting to look real nice and owners in our league really did not have a lot of money to spend.  It was starting to become painfully obvious that this auction was going to have some tremendous deals doled out and the beneficiaries were set up to reap the rewards for many seasons.  A butterfly effect that could lead to a dynasty.  Three days before the auction, our deadline hit to make moves to find salary, as is standard in RSO leagues.  Many thought this was the last moment to find salary.  But, au contraire mon frère!  This guy right here had one more trick up his sleeve.

So, here we are at that auction deadline and it appears Philadelphia Freeways has a commanding lead on salary to use at the auction.  Last year’s champ.  This season’s most salary entering the auction.  Well done, sir!  Looks like about $44m to spend (Most teams had a similar number of spots to fill) and the next closest is at $32m.  Roughly 33% more cash on hand than the next closest owner.  Myself, I had about $22m (and I still had the 5th most to spend).  Now, let’s step over here to have a brief side conversation.  Look, I commission other leagues outside of this one.  In my leagues, we utilize a rule that states we cannot place a player on our IR unless that player has been placed on NFL IR.  But, in this High Stakes league, we can place a player on IR at any time for any reason.  Injury or not.  It’s not my own personal preference but that’s irrelevant.  Know the rules of your league!  I can’t stress this enough.  Many of the advantages an owner gains is by simply understanding the rules and the scoring system better than anyone else and therefore, how they can best take advantage of the system they play within.  This is why many commissioners tend to always do well.  No one knows the system like they do.  Anyone can.  But many don’t take the time.  So, you see where this was heading.  I knew this league allowed it and there was never going to be a more important year to wield salary so I made a tough, but savvy, move, in my opinion.  It wasn’t even going to be tough initially.  But, then the run of preseason RB injuries hit and I was forced to reconsider my strategy.  So, here was the scenario.  We start two RB’s and it’s a 12 team Superflex PPR league.  I’m sitting on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and I drafted Trey Sermon and Travis Etienne.  I signed CEH to a massive 4-year contract in front of the ’20 season and he was due about $37m this year.  I think it’s fair to say most preseason rankings had him outside the top 10 so I felt like his value was not fully there but, more importantly, placing him on IR would almost double the salary I had to use this season and give me the 2nd most money to spend in the auction at around $40m.  I felt all along I could get two starting RB’s in the auction with that kind of money.  Nothing fancy, but starters nonetheless, and probably one more upside RB that might even start for his team at some point.  Then that Etienne injury hit and the decision to IR CEH became a much more agonizing one.  One that I ultimately made anyways.  Understand that dropping CEH would’ve lead to an accelerated cap hit in ’22 that I wanted to avoid as well.  IR bought me one extra season to consider him and his value.  So, I got the extra $18.5m but left myself thin at RB with only Sermon listed on my active roster entering the auction.

So, was I the only owner who had this bright idea?  This is the High Stakes League.  Of course not.  Another owner decided to shut down Tua and his $16m contract giving him an extra $8m and had a similar amount of salary as myself at about $40m.  Turns out we both made these moves within 5 minutes of the start of our auction.  I discovered afterwards that it created the intended chaos for some people when they saw other owners showed up with more cash to spend.  Another owner in the league spoke up a few days after the auction to ask how certain teams ended up with more money.  It was explained and discussed.  He wasn’t mad and appreciated the approach.  We also decided to discuss a few more things in the offseason regarding IR.  That’s how it goes, right?  Something new pops up and you address it.  My fellow commissioners know this all too well.

Interesting side note that both CEH and Tua have since went IR.  Prophetic.

At one point in time in our league chats, season one Champion Dave (Philly Freeways) lamented that RSO had ruined all other fantasy football for him.  I was quick to agree.  This is exactly how I already felt and this past offseason provides a lot of reasons to understand why.  Absolute excitement from start to finish.  No less than four different opportunities to employ strategies and gain a little more of an advantage.  From getting under the salary cap, to the rookie draft, to gaining maximum salary for the auction, to the actual auction.  No site before RSO has been so complete.  Add in the excitement and chaos of the reduced salary cap and all it’s effects and this is an offseason I won’t soon forget.  Thanks for reliving it with me.

As for the current season, I have to note that we now have one team at 5-0.  A squad called “Y-Town.”  They also have a fair lead in total points this season too, proving it’s no fluke.  Congrats Y-Town on the hot start.  More to come on the current season in the next update.

If you have any interest at all in the next High Stakes leagues looking to form next year be sure to follow @realitysportson on Twitter along with myself @RSOHighStakes.  Also read those emails.  Get on the list and make sure you start to get notified of the next league’s progress.

See you next time!


Matt Russell

RSO High Stakes League Storyteller



More Analysis by Matt Russell

RSO Decision: Extensions

Updated: October 18th 2021

The decision of whether to extend a player or not is one of the crucial points for Reality Sports Online managers.  This article focuses on the decision-making process for RSO managers which utilize the extension option in their leagues.  We examine many of the key factors in determining whether to extend a player and choosing between different options.  In particular, this piece utilizes a real-life example from my RSO Writer’s League team in which I have narrowed my extension contract choices to Josh Allen and Tyreek Hill.

Projected Player Values

The extension decision-process starts with a comparison of player values versus contract costs.  Allen was the 2020 overall QB1 last season in fantasy scoring for our league and currently the 2021 QB4 while Hill was the WR2 in 2020 and 2021. I calculated each of the players with similar production value at over $50 million per year for the 2020 and 2021 seasons so far.  Allen’s offered extension contract is 4 years at $108 million for an average value of $27 million per season while Hill’s is 4 years at $176 million for an average value of $44 million per season placing each among the top-5 priced contract at their respective positions.  That makes each player’s extension a below-market value if they continue at their recent production profile into the future but Allen’s extension contract offers a lot more possible surplus value.  This extra value surplus on Allen’s contract also necessarily reduces the risk due to injuries or underperformance in future years and adds more roster flexibility.

Projected Franchise Tag Alternative

Many leagues utilize RSO’s franchise tag option which allows your team to keep an expiring contract. The cost is the average of the top-5 players at a position in the first season with options of 20% and 44% increases in years 2 and 3 over the previous year’s contract cost, subject to certain conditions.  Allen’s extension price projects at $24 million the first season while Hill is expected at about $39 million.  The franchise tag currently calculates to $25 million in 2022 for quarterbacks and about $36 million for wide receivers.  These prices are particularly noteworthy for Hill.  Hill’s first two years of his extension offer project at about the same cost as two franchise tags.  Hill will be 30 after the 2023 season which is an age where fantasy players generally start to devalue wide receivers. This makes the franchise tag a particularly appealing option for Hill in this case.  Allen, on the other hand, will have just started his prime years as a quarterback which makes the extension offer more attractive.

Free Agent Alternatives and Salary Cap

The projected free agent pool also bears some thought as possible future replacements for players.  Keep in mind other teams may also franchise tag or extend players so the free agent pool will typically be shallower than the pool currently projected as free agents.  Brady, Rodgers, Cousins, Ryan, and Tannehill are the only realistic possibilities at quarterback in this league while Cooks, Woods, Julio Jones, D.J. Moore, and Kenny Golladay are among the top options at wide receiver.

The player pool has little meaning without looking at what the projected costs of free agents will be.  The projected cap space in this league is over $700 million which presents a huge amount available to spend on the top free agents potentially pushing prices above market values.  This factor adds weight to using extensions or franchise tags on players at or below market prices in my case.  One must also look at the impact of extensions on your own team’s salary cap.  Teams up against the salary cap ceiling in future years may have trouble fitting in large extension contracts.

Extension Value Changes

RSO extension offers may change throughout the season taking into account weekly performance.  This might lead an RSO GM to consider waiting on possible better contract offers throughout the season or jumping on one perceived as below-value.  The extension offers for Hill and Allen did not change the first two weeks despite Hill coming off a huge week four performance and Allen, conversely, producing a big week five outing.  This leads me to expect that the extension offers, which are near the top of market, likely remain similar throughout the year unless something catastrophic happens.

Final Decision

The article displays a number of key factors in deciding between alternative RSO contract extensions.  The combination of extension length and price strongly points toward an Allen extension in this particular example while the franchise tag presents an attractive alternative for Hill.

Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

More Analysis by Bernard Faller

Week 6 Street FA Report

Updated: October 12th 2021

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 75% of RSO leagues that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer one (1) player that is owned in <25% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

Add of the Week

Darrel Williams, RB – KC (Owned 53%)

Week 5: 5 Car/27 yards, 3 Rec/18 yards

Week 5 saw another two (2) starting running backs go down with long(ish) term injuries which places emphasis once again on spending high percentages of your remaining salary cap on their backups. I have suggested equal bid amounts to both options but have given the AOTW tiebreaker to the player who is on the better offense. Darrel Williams was already averaging 33 percent of Kansas City’s snaps before the injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire so his role as the primary backup will offer a significant floor to those who acquire him. It would be unlikely that Williams takes the role outright from CEH once healthy but a successful month of play behind Patrick Mahomes may allow for him to see a more even split for snaps later in the season too. This is also another reason why I would be prioritizing Williams over our next running back add.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000

RB Add

Devontae Booker, RB – NYG (Owned 27%)

Week 5: 16 Car/42 yards, 1 TD, 3 Rec/16 yards, 1 TD

This is the second consecutive year that a long-time backup will have to carry the bulk of the Giants backfield touches for Saquon Barkley while he is out with a lower-body injury. Devontae Booker served quite well as Barkley’s replacement in week 5 scoring two (2) touchdowns against the Cowboys. Most of his usage came long after the game was decided and with Daniel Jones nursing an injury of his own, the Giants offense may not offer the same short-range scoring opportunities that Darrel Williams and Kansas City will have. What Booker does have going for him is that the Giants have almost no other skill position players to compete with Booker so his usage should be high while Barkley is out. Booker could be an RB2 option as we head into the bye week stretch.

Suggested Bid: $5,000,000

WR Add

Quez Watkins, WR – PHI (Owned 32%)

Week 5: 3 Rec/48 yards

Quez Watkins has quietly had a strong start to the season for a player still available in over a third of RSO leagues. Watkins has only had more than three (3) targets once this season but he makes the most of his opportunity with a 76 percent catch rate and only one (1) game below six (6) PPR points. Again, not a league winner by any metric but consistent for a WR5 option in deeper leagues. Watkins’ speed also provides the upside of a big-play touchdown each week so as we head into the bye weeks portion of the season, Watkins’ floor may be better in tight matchup than others available on the wire at this point.

Suggested Bid: $1,000,000

TE Add

Ricky Seals-Jones, TE – WAS (Owned 8%)

Week 5: 5 Rec/41 yards

Backup tight end usage is tough to predict as often the reason tight ends are used at all is because of the talent of the individual rather than the scheme of involving the position. Ricky Seals-Jones filled in well for Logan Thomas who was placed on IR last week and will miss at least another two (2) games. Seals-Jones played all but one (1) offensive snap in week 5 and tied for second in targets behind Terry McLaurin with eight (8). A TE2 option while Thomas is inactive, Seals-Jones is another savior for the bye week blues if your team requires assistance.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add (<25%)

KhaDarel Hodge, WR – DET (Owned <1%)

Week 5: 1 Rec/17 yards

There was not much coverage after week 5 about Quintez Cephus’ collarbone injury but with his 2021 season likely over it opens up a lot of snaps and targets for Lions’ receivers the rest of the season. KhaDarel Hodge only caught one (1) pass in week 5 but did have five (5) targets which may keep him off of many owners’ stash lists this week if they only check the box score. The Lions’ offense is not going to produce multiple weekly starters at wide receiver but they do expect to be in several negative game scripts for the remainder of the season. KhaDarel Hodge may be the benefactor of this scenario and have his moments if you can predict the weeks correctly.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

More Analysis by Nick Andrews